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  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Wu Tao

    Twenty four lines of regular-running script, alternating between long and short lines of about ten and six characters each, with some variation. At the end, five lines of explanation, dedication and signature. Claudia Brown comments on the expansive reputation that Wu Tao enjoyed in the late nineteenth century, and says that although his status has diminished as more attention has been given to the innovations of early twentieth century artists, he is still an artist of stature and accomplishment. He was something of a hermit, although he did travel to the three cities that so many of the artists in this collection frequented, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. He lived and worked in his Lailu caotang, or "Thatched Cottage of the Returning Storks," and landscapes were his primary subject. Although calligraphy was not his major medium, his writing in this example is animated and convincing. Despite the small size, the characters are written with energy and attention to the proper formation, not unexpected in one who was known for his classical interests. The fact that characters are written over the splines of the fan suggests that he wrote this before the fan was mounted. This is an interesting addition to the published works by the artist.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape
    Landscape by Wu Tao, 1840-1895

    This painting reflects a strong traditional influence. The inscription: Spring breezes blow over the Peach Blossom Brook, and a touch of green circles the gray land.